a collection of words about God and life and art and baseball and football and hope and my family and my ministry and music and the immense joy in each moment of all of it. it's a record of being human. welcome.
yes, it is that time again. annual conference. you'll remember that last year i blogged quite a bit about my experience at annual conference, as it was a milestone conference for me, being the moment of my ordination and all. this year feels a bit different. i finally have a name tag that is just plain white. no stickers. no colors. no special initials or reminders of hoops yet to jump through. a plain white nametag.
believe it or not, this white nametag has changed conference for me a bit. i feel like a certain edge is gone. i am more comfortable here - more willing to just be me and not worryabout it. it feels nice.
but by far the best part of annual conference is the way it feels very much like a reunion. there are many pastors and laypeople here that i only see once each year, and so it is fun to see them and to catch up. yeah, we'll spend a great deal of time in the plenary session, conferencing and debating. but we'll spend other time around dinner table…
everyday we give jack some worksheets to work on his letters and numbers. he earns a dime a day if he completes his worksheet. what you see below is his worksheet from a couple of days ago. we were working on the number 7. he was supposed to look at the pre-made sevens and then make his own, which he did remarkably well, in my opinion. then he was to count and color the glasses of water (?), which he also did with ease. the final instruction, at the bottom of the page, was to color 7 peas on a plate. since he received these directions orally, he thought he was supposed to draw seven p's on a plate, which is entirely different. and so he did this:
the green peas came later. he gave it to us with a perfectly counted portion of p's. these are the parenting moments i cherish. the ones that make all the other ones worth it for me. the ones that make you smile even when you're frustrated. the ones that remind me not to take this all too seriously. the ones that re…
everytime there is a change in the seasons, i find myself making ridiculous declarations about how that particular season is by far my favorite. and i never learn. i just continue to do it year after year, season after season. but i can't really help it. i love all the changes. i love the cycles of life of death and life again. this weekend serves as a kind of interesting juxtaposition of those two, life and death. i mean, it is clearly full-on spring here in western new jersey: the flora and fauna are blooming and bustling. life is teeming and twitching all over the place, as you can see from these pictures of flowers and baby birds from our yard today.
and yet the weekend isn't all about life. it is also, fittingly, a time to reflect on those who spent their lives in protection of something larger of themselves. it is a time to think of sacrifice, of those who saw too few springs. it is a memorial weekend, a day to remember that life is indeed a precious gift, an…
shannon recently thought it would be a great idea to let the kids fingerpaint. brilliant. actually, they were making thank-you cards for jack's preschool teachers, and they turned out really beautifully, so it was all worth it, i'm sure. but these pictures bear witness to the mess that resulted, not to mention the fun that was had! enjoy my little painted cuties...
a little benny swing this morning to match the spring-perfect morning. the sky couldn't be bluer or the grass greener here in new jersey this morning if they were made out of construction paper. so, here's to beautiful days and a swingin' spring.
by the way, jack now tells me that jazz is his favorite kind of music. he also told us that jazz is purple. when i pressed him on this, he just told me that it sounds like purple. absolutely fascinating.
for those who have been wanting to see them, here are my new spectacles...
the more formal pair, and
the everyday pair accompanied by my nearly-shut eyes. awesome. i'm SO photogenic. anyway, as far as the glasses are concerned, almost no one has noticed, so apparently it isn't as big a change as it seems like to me. still, it IS a change for me, and i am starting to get used to them. there, now that's done.
happy victoria day. or two-four day, as it is more commonly known in the towns and cities of canada. for canadians, today marks the beginning of the summer season. i didn't even realize they had summer in canada, or that it lasted longer than a week. in fact, in some strange twist, summer seems to unofficially last longer in canada than in new jersey.
lucky canadians. we have to wait a week until next monday. i say we start celebrating both two-four day and memorial day. just a suggestion.
right now i'm listening to steve earle's the "revolution starts now." i really don't like the way he wears his politics on his sleeve and such, but man i love his twang. i could seriously listen to him sing the random wikipedia articles. speaking of the online collaborative encyclopedia, a fun daily activity is to go over to wikipedia and click on "random article" on the left side of the page. then you can truly learn something new everyday. like today i lea…
i hate to use the word "concert" because that sounds so dang pretentious and self-important, but if you are in the flemington area on saturday night and would like to hear a couple of guys singing songs and playing acoustic guitar, mandolin, djembe and harmonica, then come on out to the friendly grounds coffeehouse between 8 and 10. justin and i will be jamming. i'm not promising that it will sound all that awesome, but we certainly have been putting a great deal of practice into it, and we are really excited about sharing it with people. we're covering nickel creek, james taylor, death cab for cutie, the plain white t's, matt nathanson, pierce pettis, willie nelson, johnny cash and jack johnson, to name a few. should be fun. hope to see you there!
if you like coldplay, you should head over to their website and pick up their new live cd. for free! they will be giving it away at their concerts, but have made it available for download on their website, which is really cool. it consists of 9 songs which are pretty representative of their viva tour, and as one who saw them on that tour, i love it. it will be available on their site for awhile, so don't give up if you can't get it today, as they are probably experiencing incredibly high volume over there.
"i am the good shepherd," says Jesus in john 10. and our minds naturally conjure up the familiar words of the 23rd psalm, remembering that our shepherd leads us to water and to green pastures. But what does it mean to us, if anything, that real shepherds lead their sheep not by walking in front of them, but from behind, letting the flock go where it will and only offering a correcting voice if it is wandering in the wrong direction?
what if our shepherd is not pulling us somewhere, but reassuring us as we move forward, and calling us back to the right way when we get off track? what would that mean for our journeys of faith?
my dear friends, i find myself in the strange position of not really having anything to say. this is unusual for me, and i'm not sure if it is induced by busyness or what, but i find myself staring at my blog with nothing to say. so rather than force something, i'll wait until it comes. i just wanted you to know that i'm still alive and okay. just waiting for some inspiration at this point. maybe the new glasses that i'll be getting this morning will do the trick!
in shannon's mother's day card today, we told her to come here to the blog to get part of her present. the video above is the present. we made this without her knowing it, and we hope she enjoys it. she is the momma mia here at the milinovich house, and we all love her dearly. happy mother's day, shannon.
what do you see in this picture? there's not much, really. my eyes, my glasses, a bit of my eyebrows and my skin. but do you know what i see?
i see the best glasses ever. i absolutely love my glasses. i wanted to get glasses like these when i was in high school, but my parents thought they were a bit too unusual or something at the time, and wouldn't pay for them. i loved these kind of frames because they reminded me of the kind of frames that my grandfather wore way back in the day (i had only seen in pictures). so when i got out on my own after collage and it came time for some new frames, i bought them. that was about 8 years ago.
for 8 awesome years these glasses have been a permanent fixture on my face. my kids don't recognize me without them. neither do i. they have been the most durable pair of glasses i could have ever imagined. until yesterday. yesterday they snapped. i got out of the shower yesterday afternoon after working out, and i went to put th…
a conversation from my imagination (based on John 6)
me: hey, that was pretty cool what you did with the whole feeding all those people with just a little bit of bread and fish. jesus: thanks. amazing things happen when people come together in faith. me: i guess so. i mean, thanks for the bread and all, but i could have done without the sardines. some maple sugar ham and a slice of provolone with a little mayo would have been nice. jesus: i wasn't taking orders. me: right. but even peanut butter and j... jesus: i can take it back, you know. me: oh yeah, sorry. i forgot about your omnipotence and all that. not used to talking to God's Son. anyway, thanks for the grub. jesus: i am the bread of life. me: what? you say the strangest things. you are the bread of life? what does that even mean? jesus: whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. me: umm...okay. that sounds pretty good. jesus: it should sound very good. i am…